The Grasslands

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 10th gradeA, January 1996

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" The Grasslands "

Picture yourself being able to see from horizon to horizon. The land is flat, and covered with different kinds of crops and small bunches of trees. You can see a village near the river. Most houses are made of brick, with some being wood. Power lines run up and down the street.

Close your eyes and the scene changes to a less familiar place. The land is flat with some steep hills nearby. In this scene, instead of brick and wood houses you see houses made out of dung. The ground is dry and barely alive.

Now close your eyes and imagine yet another scene. The sky is almost the only thing you see with gentle rolling hills all around you. Even rows of wheat stretch into the distance. You are near a white picket fenced farm with big cottonwoods shading it from the scorching sun.

You have just visited a collective farm in the Soviet Union, a Masai village in Africa and Abilene, Kansas, which is located in the U.S. These three places are part of the world's mid-latitude grassland region. Grasslands are usually found in the interior parts of most continents. The world's grasslands are vast areas covered with grass and leafy plants. They generally have a dry climate, little vegetation, and most grasslands receive only about twenty to thirty inches of rain each year, with most of it coming in the same season. Some grasslands may even receive up to thirty to forty inches of rain a year! For example, since the grasslands of the United States have hot summers and mild winters, most of the rain comes from the summer thunderstorms. With this limited amount of rain, only grasses and shrubs can grow. But...